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Special Issue "New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "D: Energy Storage and Application".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2020) | Viewed by 30924

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Henny J. van der Windt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Integrated Research on Energy, Environment and Society, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Groningen, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands
Interests: energy transition; community energy; socio-technical systems; science-society interactions; environmetal history; responsible innovation; ecological restoration
Dr. Ellen van Oost
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Science, Technology and Policy Studies, Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
Interests: innovation; energy; energy storage; gender, scenario srudies; technology assessment
Dr. Binod Koirala
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
TNO Energy Transition, Radarweg 60, 1043 NT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Interests: community energy; integrated energy system; renewable energy; institutional design; responsible innovation; energy transition; energy citizenship
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Esther van der Waal
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Integrated Research on Energy, Environment and Society, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Groningen, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands
Interests: community energy; socio-technological innovation; social impact assessment; value sensitive design; geography; commons

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Our energy landscape is changing. Local communities are increasingly taking active roles and emerging as new actors in the energy system. For example, some local energy initiatives own solar panels, wind turbines and energy storage system collectively, while others build renewable energy configurations, together with other energy system actors. Community energy and energy storage may enable effective energy system integration and get maximum benefits of local generation. Energy storage is one of the key issues of the energy transition and local energy communities are important drivers behind the transformation towards a more sustainable energy system, particularly when it comes to decentralized energy systems. This may lead to more flexible and resilient energy supply systems, and therefore, can play an important role in achieving renewable energy and climate policy objectives.

New and innovative socio-technological energy storage configurations are emerging at local and regional levels. Energy storage technologies are going through a great deal of public discourse, networking and experimentation. The decreasing cost of energy storage and the increasing demand for local flexibility is opening up new possibilities for energy storage systems deployment at the local level. In this context, energy storage can help to better integrate the heat and electricity system at the local level and can positively contribute towards energy transitions while accommodating the needs and expectations of citizens and local communities. Yet, there are technological and social challenges of integrating energy storage in the largely centralized present energy system, which demands for socio-technical innovation. More attention is required in the societal dimensions of energy storage technology and the technological aspects of social innovation around energy storage technologies.

This Special Issue is being organized within the framework of the International Conference New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage organized by the Universities of Groningen and Twente on 6 and 7 of June 2019 in Groningen, the Netherlands.

This Special Issue aims to address important questions related to energy transitions and the role of community energy and storage therein. We invite submission from researchers and practitioners to provide new stimulating insights to continue efforts for promising pathways, in theory and practice, regarding technological and social aspects of energy transition.

In line with the key themes of the international conference, we accept submission on following key topics: 

Transformative power of community energy

Citizens' engagement in community energy

Community energy storage and flexibility

New pathways for community energy innovation in practice

Local energy innovation

Changing roles and responsibilities

New pathways for local energy storage in practice

Responsible innovation in community energy

Community energy in Europe

Games as means for energy communication and involvement

New business models for community energy and storage

Community energy and low-carbon transition

Community energy storage: opportunities, challenges and perspectives

Developing country perspective on community energy

Aligning institutions and technology in community energy systems

Renewable energy communities, consumer (co-)ownership and energy sharing

Regulatory and institutional aspects of community energy and storage

Dr. Henny J. van der Windt
Dr. Ellen van Oost
Dr. Binod Koirala
Dr. Esther van der Waal
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Community energy
  • Community energy storage
  • Local energy system
  • Energy transition
  • Socio-technical systems
  • Governance and business models

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage
Energies 2021, 14(2), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020286 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 716
Abstract
Worldwide, the energy landscape is changing [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)

Research

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Article
Joint Storage: A Mixed-Method Analysis of Consumer Perspectives on Community Energy Storage in Germany
Energies 2020, 13(11), 3025; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13113025 - 11 Jun 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1082
Abstract
In this paper, we analyze consumer attitudes toward and interest in community energy storage (CES) in Germany, based on five focus group discussions and an online survey of private owners of photovoltaic (PV) systems, as well as written surveys and workshops with the [...] Read more.
In this paper, we analyze consumer attitudes toward and interest in community energy storage (CES) in Germany, based on five focus group discussions and an online survey of private owners of photovoltaic (PV) systems, as well as written surveys and workshops with the residents of two residential developments where CES has been installed. We find that owners of PV systems are generally receptive to the idea of CES but are unfamiliar with it. They assume that CES is more resource- and cost-efficient than residential storage and appreciate the idea of professionally managed operation and maintenance, but are skeptical of whether fair and transparent distribution and billing can be realized. Consumers express a need for ancillary services, such as monitoring, information or energy management, but the interest in such services, however, is strongly dependent on their perception of the costs versus potential savings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)
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Article
Innovation Dynamics of Socio-Technical Alignment in Community Energy Storage: The Cases of DrTen and Ecovat
Energies 2020, 13(11), 2955; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112955 - 09 Jun 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1529
Abstract
With energy transition gaining momentum, energy storage technologies are increasingly spotlighted as they can effectively handle mismatches in supply and demand. The decreasing cost of distributed energy generation technologies and energy storage technologies as well as increasing demand for local flexibility is opening [...] Read more.
With energy transition gaining momentum, energy storage technologies are increasingly spotlighted as they can effectively handle mismatches in supply and demand. The decreasing cost of distributed energy generation technologies and energy storage technologies as well as increasing demand for local flexibility is opening up new possibilities for the deployment of energy storage technologies in local energy communities. In this context, community energy storage has potential to better integrate energy supply and demand at the local level and can contribute towards accommodating the needs and expectations of citizens and local communities as well as future ecological needs. However, there are techno-economical and socio-institutional challenges of integrating energy storage technologies in the largely centralized present energy system, which demand socio-technical innovation. To gain insight into these challenges, this article studies the technical, demand and political articulations of new innovative local energy storage technologies based on an embedded case study approach. The innovation dynamics of two local energy storage innovations, the seasalt battery of DrTen® and the seasonal thermal storage Ecovat®, are analysed. We adopt a co-shaping perspective for understanding innovation dynamics as a result of the socio-institutional dynamics of alignment of various actors, their articulations and the evolving network interactions. Community energy storage necessitates thus not only technical innovation but, simultaneously, social innovation for its successful adoption. We will assess these dynamics also from the responsible innovation framework that articulates various forms of social, environmental and public values. The socio-technical alignment of various actors, human as well as material, is central in building new socio-technical configurations in which the new storage technology, the community and embedded values are being developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)
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Article
Formation and Continuation of Thermal Energy Community Systems: An Explorative Agent-Based Model for the Netherlands
Energies 2020, 13(11), 2829; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13112829 - 02 Jun 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2048
Abstract
Energy communities are key elements in the energy transition at the local level as they aim to generate and distribute energy based on renewable energy technologies locally. The literature on community energy systems is dominated by the study of electricity systems. Yet, thermal [...] Read more.
Energy communities are key elements in the energy transition at the local level as they aim to generate and distribute energy based on renewable energy technologies locally. The literature on community energy systems is dominated by the study of electricity systems. Yet, thermal energy applications cover 75% of the total energy consumption in households and small businesses. Community-driven initiatives for local generation and distribution of thermal energy, however, remain largely unaddressed in the literature. Since thermal energy communities are relatively new in the energy transition discussions, it is important to have a better understanding of thermal energy community systems and how these systems function. The starting point of this understanding is to study factors that influence the formation and continuation of thermal energy communities. To work towards this aim, an abstract agent-based model has been developed that explores four seemingly trivial factors, namely: neighborhood size, minimum member requirement, satisfaction factor and drop-out factor. Our preliminary modelling results indicate correlations between thermal community formation and the ’formation capability’ (the percentage of households that joined) and with the satisfaction of households. No relation was found with the size of the community (in terms of number of households) or with the ‘drop-out factor’ (individual households that quit after the contract time). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)
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Article
Status and Evolution of the Community Energy Sector in Italy
Energies 2020, 13(8), 1888; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13081888 - 13 Apr 2020
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 1993
Abstract
Community energy (CE) initiatives have been progressively spreading across Europe and are increasingly proposed as innovative and alternative approaches to guarantee higher citizen participation in the transition toward cleaner energy systems. This paper focuses the attention on Italy, a Southern European country characterized [...] Read more.
Community energy (CE) initiatives have been progressively spreading across Europe and are increasingly proposed as innovative and alternative approaches to guarantee higher citizen participation in the transition toward cleaner energy systems. This paper focuses the attention on Italy, a Southern European country characterized by relatively low CE sector development. It fills a gap in the literature by eliciting and presenting novel and comprehensive evidence on recent Italian CE sector developments. Through a stepwise approach it systematically maps and reviews Italian CE initiatives, to then focus the attention on three specific case studies to further explore conditions for development as well as of success within the Italian energy system. The analysis presents an Italian CE sector still at its niche level, characterized by small initiatives largely dependent on national photovoltaics (PV) policy support. It also points out how only larger initiatives, able to operate at national scale, developing multiple projects and differentiating their activities have managed to continue growing at the time of discontinuity of policy support and contraction of the national renewable energy market. Recent EU and national legislative development might support revived development of CE initiatives in Italy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)
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Article
Empowering Vulnerable Consumers to Join Renewable Energy Communities—Towards an Inclusive Design of the Clean Energy Package
Energies 2020, 13(7), 1615; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13071615 - 02 Apr 2020
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 2438
Abstract
The unequal distribution of costs and benefits of the energy transition is a challenge for energy justice and energy policy. Although the empowerment of consumers to participate in renewable energy communities (RECs) has great potential for a just energy transition, vulnerable consumers remain [...] Read more.
The unequal distribution of costs and benefits of the energy transition is a challenge for energy justice and energy policy. Although the empowerment of consumers to participate in renewable energy communities (RECs) has great potential for a just energy transition, vulnerable consumers remain underrepresented in RE projects. The recast of the European renewable energy directive obliges the European Member States to facilitate the participation of vulnerable consumers and support their inclusion in its “enabling framework” for prosumership. However, the type and specific design of corresponding measures remains unclear. Against this background this article investigates consumer empowerment in a vulnerability context. In particular we stress the need to understand how vulnerability affects participation in RECs to inform both policy makers and practitioners on its specificities and restrictions for the “enabling framework”. To prevent the inclusion of vulnerable consumers in RECs from remaining an idea on paper lawmakers need to be made aware of the implications for a consistent “enabling framework”. We argue that both individual vulnerable consumers as well as RECs need incentives and support to boost RECs’ capacity to include groups that until now remain underrepresented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)
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Article
The Benefits of Local Cross-Sector Consumer Ownership Models for the Transition to a Renewable Smart Energy System in Denmark. An Exploratory Study
Energies 2020, 13(6), 1508; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13061508 - 22 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2371
Abstract
Smart energy systems (SESs), with integrated energy sectors, provide several advantages over single-sector approaches for the development of renewable energy systems. However, cross-sector integration is at an early stage even in areas challenged by the existing high shares of variable renewable energy (VRE). [...] Read more.
Smart energy systems (SESs), with integrated energy sectors, provide several advantages over single-sector approaches for the development of renewable energy systems. However, cross-sector integration is at an early stage even in areas challenged by the existing high shares of variable renewable energy (VRE). The promotion of cross-sector integration requires institutional incentives and new forms of actor participation and interaction that are suitable to address the organisational challenges of implementing and operating SESs. Taking as the point of departure an empirical case and its institutional context, this article presents an exploratory study of the ability of cross-sector consumer ownership at different locations in the power distribution system to address those challenges in Denmark. The methods comprise interviews of relevant stakeholders and a literature review. The results indicate that distant and local cross-sector integration will be necessary to reduce overinvestments in the grid and that consumer co-ownership of wind turbines and power-to-heat (P2H) units in district heating (DH) systems may provide advantages over common separate ownership with regard to local acceptance and attractiveness of investments. Several possibilities are identified to improve the current institutional incentive system in Denmark. Finally, the results suggest the relevance of analysing the possibility for single-sector energy companies to transition to smart energy companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)
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Article
Collective Action and Social Innovation in the Energy Sector: A Mobilization Model Perspective
Energies 2020, 13(3), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13030651 - 04 Feb 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3407
Abstract
This conceptual paper applies a mobilization model to Collective Action Initiatives (CAIs) in the energy sector. The goal is to synthesize aspects of sustainable transition theories with social movement theory to gain insights into how CAIs mobilize to bring about niche-regime change in [...] Read more.
This conceptual paper applies a mobilization model to Collective Action Initiatives (CAIs) in the energy sector. The goal is to synthesize aspects of sustainable transition theories with social movement theory to gain insights into how CAIs mobilize to bring about niche-regime change in the context of the sustainable energy transition. First, we demonstrate how energy communities, as a representation of CAIs, relate to social innovation. We then discuss how CAIs in the energy sector are understood within both sustainability transition theory and institutional dynamics theory. While these theories are adept at describing the role energy CAIs have in the energy transition, they do not yet offer much insight concerning the underlying social dimensions for the formation and upscaling of energy CAIs. Therefore, we adapt and apply a mobilization model to gain insight into the dimensions of mobilization and upscaling of CAIs in the energy sector. By doing so we show that the expanding role of CAIs in the energy sector is a function of their power acquisition through mobilization processes. We conclude with a look at future opportunities and challenges of CAIs in the energy transition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)
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Article
Participatory Experimentation with Energy Law: Digging in a ‘Regulatory Sandbox’ for Local Energy Initiatives in the Netherlands
Energies 2020, 13(2), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13020458 - 17 Jan 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2815
Abstract
To facilitate energy transition, regulators have devised ‘regulatory sandboxes’ to create a participatory experimentation environment for exploring revision of energy law in several countries. These sandboxes allow for a two-way regulatory dialogue between an experimenter and an approachable regulator to innovate regulation and [...] Read more.
To facilitate energy transition, regulators have devised ‘regulatory sandboxes’ to create a participatory experimentation environment for exploring revision of energy law in several countries. These sandboxes allow for a two-way regulatory dialogue between an experimenter and an approachable regulator to innovate regulation and enable new socio-technical arrangements. However, these experiments do not take place in a vacuum but need to be formulated and implemented in a multi-actor, polycentric decision-making system through collaboration with the regulator but also energy sector incumbents, such as the distribution system operator. Therefore, we are exploring new roles and power division changes in the energy sector as a result of such a regulatory sandbox. We researched the Dutch executive order ‘experiments decentralized, sustainable electricity production’ (EDSEP) that invites homeowners’ associations and energy cooperatives to propose projects that are prohibited by extant regulation. Local experimenters can, for instance, organise peer-to-peer supply and determine their own tariffs for energy transport in order to localize, democratize, and decentralize energy provision. Theoretically, we rely on Ostrom’s concept of polycentricity to study the dynamics between actors that are involved in and engaging with the participatory experiments. Empirically, we examine four approved EDSEP experiments through interviews and document analysis. Our conclusions focus on the potential and limitations of bottom-up, participatory innovation in a polycentric system. The most important lessons are that a more holistic approach to experimentation, inter-actor alignment, providing more incentives, and expert and financial support would benefit bottom-up participatory innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)
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Article
Collective Renewable Energy Prosumers and the Promises of the Energy Union: Taking Stock
Energies 2020, 13(2), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13020421 - 15 Jan 2020
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 2793
Abstract
A key strategy in the European Union’s ambition to establish an ‘Energy Union’ that is not just clean, but also fair, consists of empowering citizens to actively interact with the energy market as self-consumers or prosumers. Although renewable energy sources (RES) prosumerism has [...] Read more.
A key strategy in the European Union’s ambition to establish an ‘Energy Union’ that is not just clean, but also fair, consists of empowering citizens to actively interact with the energy market as self-consumers or prosumers. Although renewable energy sources (RES) prosumerism has been growing for at least a decade, two new EU directives are intended to legitimise and facilitate its expansion. However, little is known about the full range of prosumers against which to measure policy effectiveness. We carried out a documentary study and an online survey in nine EU countries to shed light on the demographics, use of technology, organisation, financing, and motivation as well as perceived hindering and facilitating factors for collective prosumers. We identified several internal and external obstacles to the successful mainstreaming of RES prosumerism, among them a mismatch of policies with the needs of different RES prosumer types, potential organisational weaknesses as well as slow progress in essential reforms such as decentralising energy infrastructures. Our baseline results offer recommendations for the transposition of EU directives into national legislations and suggest avenues for future research in the fields of social, governance, policy, technology, and business models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)
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Article
Consumer Stock Ownership Plans (CSOPs)—The Prototype Business Model for Renewable Energy Communities
Energies 2020, 13(1), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13010118 - 25 Dec 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1748
Abstract
The 2018 recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) defines “renewable energy communities” (RECs), introducing a new governance model and the possibility of energy sharing for them. It has to be transposed into national law by all European Union Member States until [...] Read more.
The 2018 recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) defines “renewable energy communities” (RECs), introducing a new governance model and the possibility of energy sharing for them. It has to be transposed into national law by all European Union Member States until June 2021. This article introduces consumer stock ownership plans (CSOPs) as the prototype business model for RECs. Based on the analysis of a dataset of 67 best-practice cases of consumer (co-) ownership from 18 countries it demonstrates the importance of flexibility of business models to include heterogeneous co-investors for meeting the requirements of the RED II and that of RE clusters. It is shown that CSOPs—designed to facilitate scalable investments in utilities—facilitate co-investments by municipalities, SMEs, plant engineers or energy suppliers. A low-threshold financing method, they enable individuals, in particular low-income households, to invest in renewable projects. Employing one bank loan instead of many micro loans, CSOPs reduce transaction costs and enable consumers to acquire productive capital, providing them with an additional source of income. Stressing the importance of a holistic approach including the governance and the technical side for the acceptance of RECs on the energy markets recommendations for the transposition are formulated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)
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Article
Technologies of Engagement: How Battery Storage Technologies Shape Householder Participation in Energy Transitions
Energies 2019, 12(22), 4384; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12224384 - 18 Nov 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1870
Abstract
The transition to a low-carbon energy system goes along with changing roles for citizens in energy production and consumption. In this paper we focus on how residential energy storage technologies can enable householders to contribute to the energy transition. Drawing on literature that [...] Read more.
The transition to a low-carbon energy system goes along with changing roles for citizens in energy production and consumption. In this paper we focus on how residential energy storage technologies can enable householders to contribute to the energy transition. Drawing on literature that understands energy systems as sociotechnical configurations and the theory of ‘material participation’, we examine how the introduction of home batteries affords new roles and energy practices for householders. We present qualitative findings from interviews with householders and other key stakeholders engaged in using or implementing battery storage at household and community level. Our results point to five emerging storage modes in which householders can play a role: individual energy autonomy; local energy community; smart grid integration; virtual energy community; and electricity market integration. We argue that for householders, these storage modes facilitate new energy practices such as providing grid services, trading, self-consumption, and sharing of energy. Several of the storage modes enable the formation of prosumer collectives and change relationships with other actors in the energy system. We conclude by discussing how householders also face new dependencies on information technologies and intermediary actors to organize the multi-directional energy flows which battery systems unleash. With energy storage projects currently being provider-driven, we argue that more space should be given to experimentation with (mixed modes of) energy storage that both empower householders and communities in the pursuit of their own sustainability aspirations and serve the needs of emerging renewable energy-based energy systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)
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Article
Energy Justice as Part of the Acceptance of Wind Energy: An Analysis of Limburg in The Netherlands
Energies 2019, 12(22), 4382; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12224382 - 18 Nov 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1454
Abstract
Policy documents in Limburg stress the importance of participation and distribution of benefits in wind energy projects, but it is not clear which modes of participation and distribution of benefits are most just, both in terms of perceived justice, and in terms of [...] Read more.
Policy documents in Limburg stress the importance of participation and distribution of benefits in wind energy projects, but it is not clear which modes of participation and distribution of benefits are most just, both in terms of perceived justice, and in terms of justice principles. Research shows that considering justice in renewable energy transitions increases the level of acceptance. This study aims to provide insight in what modes of participation and distribution are perceived as most just and likely to create local acceptance of wind parks. The most preferred modes are being compared to the indicators of the energy justice framework in order if they meet the criteria for a fair procedure and distribution of outcomes. Based on semi-structured interviews the analysis of the data demonstrated that different modes of participation in different phases of the process are being preferred and that a balance between modes of distribution of benefits is preferred. The results indicate that the most preferred modes of participation cannot necessarily address all indicators of procedural justice and that depending on the mode of distribution of benefits and the balance between those modes indicators of distributive justice can be addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)
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Article
Facilitating the Energy Transition—The Governance Role of Local Renewable Energy Cooperatives
Energies 2019, 12(21), 4171; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12214171 - 01 Nov 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2762
Abstract
The governance role of local renewable energy cooperatives (LRECs) in facilitating the energy transition remains under-scrutinized in the scholarly literature. Such a gap is puzzling, since LRECs are a manifestation of the current decentralization movement and yield a promising governance contribution to a [...] Read more.
The governance role of local renewable energy cooperatives (LRECs) in facilitating the energy transition remains under-scrutinized in the scholarly literature. Such a gap is puzzling, since LRECs are a manifestation of the current decentralization movement and yield a promising governance contribution to a ‘just energy transition.’ This paper presents a study of the governance roles of LRECs in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands. Building on existing work on the cooperative movement and energy governance, we, first, develop a conceptual framework for our analysis. The framework is built around three key interactions shaping these governance roles, between (1) LRECs and their (potential) members, (2) LRECs and the government and (3) LRECs with other LRECs. The results of an online survey and qualitative interviews with selected cooperatives led to the identification of five key governance roles that these cooperatives take up in the facilitation of the energy transition: (1) mobilizing the public, (2) brokering between government and citizens, (3) providing context specific knowledge and expertise, (4) initiating accepted change and (5) proffering the integration of sustainability. The paper concludes by reflecting on the relevance of our findings in this Dutch case for the broader ‘just transition’ movement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)
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Other

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Concept Paper
An Exploratory Agent-Based Modeling Analysis Approach to Test Business Models for Electricity Storage
Energies 2020, 13(7), 1617; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13071617 - 02 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1184
Abstract
Electricity storage systems (ESSs) are potential solutions to facilitate renewable energy transition. Lack of viable business models, as well as high levels of uncertainty in technology, economic, and institutional factors, form main barriers for wide implementation of ESSs worldwide and in the Netherlands. [...] Read more.
Electricity storage systems (ESSs) are potential solutions to facilitate renewable energy transition. Lack of viable business models, as well as high levels of uncertainty in technology, economic, and institutional factors, form main barriers for wide implementation of ESSs worldwide and in the Netherlands. Therefore, the design of business models for an ESS is necessary for the development of ESSs. We elaborated on this problem before, and developed a design space for business models of ESSs in the context of the Netherlands. This conceptual paper provides a further view on barriers and uncertainties of ESS development in the Netherlands through the involvement of a business practitioner, elaboration of goals, objectives, and testing of ESS business model designs, suggests and provides a theoretical foundation for combining agent-based modeling and exploratory modeling analysis as a method to test and explore ESS business models, and provides an abstract conceptual agent-based model design thereof. This work can be used as a foundation of detailed design and implementation of models for testing ESS business models in the Netherlands and worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)
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